Many health insurers are relaxing rules to help policyholders with costs related to the Covid-19 epidemic, according to a survey by eHealth, an online health insurance exchange.

The survey, which was conducted March 30 to April 2, found that most insurers (97%) are waiving coronavirus costs for members, and 58% said they are waiving out-of-pocket costs for coronavirus testing.

A total of 33 respondents that serve the individual and family and group health insurance markets and collectively insure millions of Americans nationwide participated, eHealth noted.

The insurers (83%) also indicated that they do not anticipate raising 2021 premiums due to coronavirus, and of the 17 % who expect premiums will go up, they said it should be no more than 5%.

Further, 87% of respondents offering Affordable Care Act (ACA) plans say it is unlikely they will leave the ACA market due to coronavirus.

Respondents said that they are actively encouraging consumers to take advantage of telemedicine. They noted that they are spreading the word through direct communications with members, social media campaigns and in some cases by waiving copays associated with telemedicine services. As a result, 96% said they have seen an increase in usage.

Also, 85% of respondents believe the coronavirus crisis will drive increased consumer demand for telemedicine services in the future.

One-third said they have noticed more utilization of mental health benefits and 82% indicated they offer member access to mental health care through telemedicine services.

Additionally, 80% of respondents expect to see a spike in medicals claims for those who had to postpone elective surgeries or non-emergency services due to the crisis.